Experiencing Poverty: Voices from the Bottom / Edition 1

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Experiencing Poverty, Second Edition, reveals the realities of the lives of the impoverished. D. Stanley Eitzen and Kelly Eitzen Smith have brought together a timely collection of readings that examine those who have lived in poverty, those who continue to live in poverty, and successful efforts by the poor to change social arrangements that impact them negatively.

Topics covered include: How people become poor, Why the poor stay poor, How the poor cope with acquiring the daily necessities of food, shelter, water, clothing, and medical care, How the poor are treated by individuals and organizations in the community, What consequences arise from the welfare-to-work federal legislation, How human agency can create changes from the bottom up. A new section in this edition, "Poverty and Vulnerability," focuses on how people living in poverty are extremely vulnerable in such situations as war, natural disasters, job loss, family disruption, and health problems.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780534529581
  • Publisher: Cengage Learning
  • Publication date: 7/24/2002
  • Edition description: Older Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.40 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

D. Stanley Eitzen is professor emeritus in sociology from Colorado State University, where previously he was the John N. Stern Distinguished Professor. He recieved his Ph.D. from the Unitsity of Kansas. Among his books are: Social Problems, which was awarded the McGuffey Longevity Award for excellence over multiple editions in 2000 by the Text and Academic Authors Association, and Diversity in Families (both co-authored with Maxine Baca Zinn), Solutions to Social Problems: Lessons from Other Societies (with Graig S. Leeham) , Paths to Homelessness: Extreme Poverty and the Urban Housing Crisis (with Doug A. Timmer and Kathryn Talley), Sociology of North American Sport (with George H. Sage,) and Fair and Foul: Rethinking the Myths and Paradoxes of Sport. He has served as the president of the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport and as editor of The Social Science Journal.

Kelly Eitzen Smith received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Arizona in 1999. She is currently the director of the Center for Applied Sociology and a lecturer at the University of Arizona. At the Center for Applied Sociology she has conducted research in the areas of day labor, homelessness, poverty, urban housing and neighborhood development. Her sociological interests include gender, family, sexuality, stratification, and social problems. She is the co-author of Experiencing Poverty, 1/e, Social Problems 11/e, and In Conflict and Order 12/e (forthcoming).

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Table of Contents

Pt. I Poverty in the United States and the Sociological Imagination 1

The Extent and Distribution of Poverty in the United States 3

The Sociological Imagination 8

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 9

Pt. II Theories of Poverty: Why Are the Poor Poor? 11

Ch. 1 Theories of Poverty: Who or What Is to Blame for Poverty? 13


Theories/Cultural Explanations 13

Structural Explanations 15

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 17

Poverty or At Home in a Car Jackie Spinks Spinks, Jackie

18 The Armstrongs: An Oral History of a Homeless American Family Steven VanderStaay VanderStaay, Steven 24

Feeling Trapped Nikkie Thompson Thompson, Nikkie 28

No 40 Acres and a Mule: An Interview with a Displaced Black Farmer Robert D. Bullard Bullard, Robert D. 30

Notes of a Racial Caste Baby Brian K. Fair Fair, Brian K. 35

Reflection Questions for Part II 40

Pt. III Poverty and Vulnerability 41

Ch. 2 One Step Away 43

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 44

A Veteran Speaks of the Forgotten Wounded of Iraq Ron Kovic Kovic, Ron 46

On the Margins: The Lack of Resources and the Lack of Health Care Janis Johnston Johnston, Janis 51

Personal Voices: An Unnatural Disaster Emma Dixon Dixon, Emma 57

The Domino Effect Sharon Hays Hays, Sharon 59

Reflection Questions for Part III 62

Pt. IV Living on the Economic Margins 63

Ch. 3 Survival and Finances 65

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 66

Ain't No Middle Class Susan Sheehan Sheehan, Susan 68

The Working Poor David K. Shipler Shipler, David K. 84

Ch. 4 Discrimination/Racism/Stigma 88

The Stigmatizing of the Impoverished 89

The Consequences of Stigmatizingthe Impoverished 89

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 90

The Dynamics of Welfare Stigma Robin Rogers-Dillon Rogers-Dillon, Robin 91

Sunset Trailer Park Allan Berube Berube, Allan Florence Berube Berube, Florence 99

Migrants and the Community Toby F. Sonneman Sonneman, Toby F. 106

At a Slaughterhouse Charlie LeDuff LeDuff, Charlie 109

Ch. 5 Parenting in Poverty 121

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 121

The Empty Christmas Tamicia Rush Rush, Tamicia 123

Karla Steven VanderStaay VanderStaay, Steven 125

Vinela Tejada: Custodian, Vanderbilt Hall, Harvard Medical School Greg Halpern Halpern, Greg 127

Reflection Questions for Part IV 130

Pt. V The Impact of Societal Institutions on Individual Lives 131

Ch. 6 Housing/Homeless Shelters/Neighborhoods 133

Living in Poor Neighborhoods 134

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 135

Shelter Bobby Burns Burns, Bobby 137

The Residents of Rockwell Gardens Susan J. Popkin Popkin, Susan J. Victoria E. Gwiasda Gwiasda, Victoria E. Lynn M. Olson Olson, Lynn M. Dennis P. Rosenbaum Rosenbaum, Dennis P. Larry Buran Buran, Larry 140

Ch. 7 The Welfare System 144

The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act of 1996 144

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 145

Plaintiffs in Capers v. Guiliani

Welfare As They Know It 147

Money: Milwaukee, Summer 1999 Jason DeParle DeParle, Jason 151

Trapped in the Double-Bind of Welfare Alejandra Marchevsky Marchevsky, Alejandra Jeanne Theoharis Theoharis, Jeanne 153

Ch. 8 Schools and Schooling 162

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 162

Seventh Grade Disaster Delphia Boykin Boykin, Delphia 164

Always Running Luis Rodriguez Rodriguez, Luis 166

Ch. 9 Work and Working 172

Wages 172

Alienation 172

Risk 173

Sweatshops 173

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 173

Looking for Work, Waiting for Work Toby F. Sonneman Sonneman, Toby F. 175

Chicken Run Linda Lord Lord, Linda 181

The Story of a Garment Worker Lisa Liu Liu, Lisa 186

Frank Morley: Custodian, Littauer Center for Public Administration Greg Halpern Halpern, Greg 189

Reflection Questions for Part V 192

Pt. VI Individual and Collective Agency and Empowerment 193

Ch. 10 Changes from the Bottom Up 195

Notes and Suggestions for Further Reading 196

Surviving Chicago's Toxic Doughnut Hazel Johnson Johnson, Hazel 197

Welfare Rights Organizing Saved My Life Dottie Stevens Stevens, Dottie 200

Josefina Flores: A Veteran of the War in the Fields David Bacon Bacon, David 204

How Predatory Lending Victims Fought Back and Won David Swanson Swanson, David 207

Reflection Questions for Part VI 211

Afterword 213

The Forgotten Children of Affluent America David E. Bumbaugh Bumbaugh, David E. 213

Reflection Questions for the Book 218

Glossary 219

Web Sites 221

Index 224

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